G.I.F.T. business center will offer free services to small business owners starting next week

The 5008 Prospect location will open its doors at the March 29 grand opening.


A group of eight people on stage at the G.I.F.T Gala

A photo from the G.I.F.T Gala. // Photo by Stacy Artis

Kansas City G.I.F.T. is opening a 7500-square-foot business center (5008 Prospect) in hopes of providing small business owners with new opportunities for growth and learning. G.I.F.T., which has been working to boost Black-owned businesses with grants since 2020, will hold a public grand opening March 29 at 3 p.m.

The facility will serve as a hub for those seeking business advice and offers co-working spaces as well as a photography studio. The photography studio, specifically, will offer a space to shoot headshots, product videos, and commercials.

“We see a lot of people that have the beginning of some ideas and really need to tweak it and reevaluate more,” G.I.F.T. CEO and Co-Founder Brandon Calloway says. “We incorporated all of these services that we have in the business center currently just based off of our own learning and looking over grant applications for the small businesses that we service.”

A physical location could be the stepping stone KC small business owners need to grow. Part of this opportunity will feature classes and workshops available at the business center, including marketing classes and a guide on how interested businesses can apply for a G.I.F.T. grant.

Use of the center’s offerings will be free of charge. As feedback from the community pours in, G.I.F.T. will always be looking at its own opportunities for improvement.

“This is 100% a pilot,” Calloway says. “We are going to let the community come in and tell us how it’s working for them and learn what additional services they need and go from there.”

VMLY&R, Hush Blackwell, OCD Financial, Bank of Labor, and Lead Bank are a few organizations offering technical assistance in G.I.F.T.’s business center endeavors. Calloway says their presence will allow small business owners to walk in with an idea and out with a structured plan.

“All of the partners in there have open hours that you’ll be able to drop in or schedule with. You’ll be able to get some level of basic services for free, with the option of contracting with them to work further,” Calloway says. “The banks are a little bit different. They will operate as remote banking centers, so you’ll be able to meet with a banker, talk about and assess if your business is loan-ready, you’ll be able to open up business accounts remotely, and if you need the paperwork to open your business account, then the business coach will be there to walk you through that.”

G.I.F.T. will continue raising money to offer grants to local Black-owned businesses while pursuing goals for the facility. Donations can be sent through the organization’s website.

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